The horror, the horror – when your alarm clock fails to wake you

First day back after a week’s cottage holiday – and my alarm clock has developed what looks like a a terminal fault whilst we have been away.

Annoyingly, I only realise this when I wake at 05:57 this morning, wondering where my 05:00 alarm call has gone?

Paradoxically, after a week in which the clock hasn’t mattered one little bit, I find myself internally mimicking the wailing of Shelley Winters in a nautical disaster movie.

OK, nobody under age 50 knows who she is or what I’m talking about; let’s just say that my world appears turned upside down by the missing 60 minutes at the start of my day.

The Gods are playing with me – Poseidon at the helm.

I just need to calm down and realise that all the folks who sent me an email last week probably aren’t sat by their devices this morning, waiting for my early response.

All the people who have sent me sets of accounts on which to opine are not hanging on my every word.

I have 8 client calls and interviews today (including a live webinar at 19:00), I’m looking at an email inbox that stands at 76 and rising after the spam and subscriptions have been cleared and my Todoist list for today contains 21 tasks.

Will I complete all of that before bedtime?

Not a chance.

Before Friday close of play?


A classic case of time management being less important than priority management.

Don’t panic.

My first priority this morning was to write my daily journal – that never alters.

My second priority was to scan my emails, social media and today’s calendar so that I can get my head around what the day ahead brings.

My third priority was to take Annie an early morning coffee and get myself shaved, showered and dressed.

My fourth priority is to write this blog.

My fifth priority will be to walk the dogs with Annie in the pouring Manchester rain.

My sixth priority will be breakfast.

My seventh priority will be to make a start on everything else.

It’s going to be a long day at the start of a busy week.

I’ll never get that missing hour again.

Welcome back.




Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.